Underground Spotlight: Dounia Tazi

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Underground Spotlight: Dounia Tazi

Brizette Tolentino, Editor-in-Chief

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If you look up articles about millennial/Gen Z/#GramGen influencers, there’s a name that might come across in a few of them: Dounia Tazi. Dounia is a plus-sized model who spreads a message of all-inclusiveness on all social platforms. Best friend of Barbie Ferreira, another plus-size model and social media influencer, the two use their audience to promote body-positivity, feminism, and inclusiveness for everyone no matter what you look like, all while remaining authentic to their true selves.  While Dounia has been primarily recognized for her influence on social media, recently, more attention has been on her music career.

In August of 2016, Chance the Rapper participated in the #SoGoneChallenge, a social media challenge where people would record and post a video of them singing, talking, or rapping about a loved one over the 2003 hit “So Gone” by Monica. A few days later, Dounia’s less than a minute video about self-love paired with her original sound gained popularity in the coming weeks, being retweeted, liked, and reposted, leading to an explosion of followers for Dounia as her video went viral. At the time, she had no album out, but she kept her fans entertained with freestyles on Instagram and Twitter and music on her SoundCloud. Five months later, she took down most of her old music, all of which are reposted by third parties on YouTube, and put up her first official single “East Coast Hiding,” along with an article introducing Dounia and interviewing her. Two months later, she dropped her next single “Shyne” along with an interview with Fader about the meaning behind the song. For the next several months, Dounia kept her fans waiting by posting freestyles, doing small performances, and even posting a remix of Playboy Carti’s “Broke Boi.”

On October 6, Dounia finally gave her fans what they have been anticipating when she announced her debut EP Intro To, promising eight songs, six tour dates, and a listening party in her home city of New York City. On the day of her EP’s release, Intro To made number 8 on iTunes’ R+B chart and “Shyne” was featured on Hot Tracks. Close friends of Dounia’s promoted their friend’s album, including a post from singer-songwriter Kehlani.

Intro To is a thirty minute long EP which stays true to the artist’s sound which can only be described as dreamy. It’s available to purchase on iTunes and is available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud. Her East Coast tour starts November 8th.

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